My mother and I hadn’t had Mexican food for a while, so on Wednesday, August 4, I called Los Hermanos in Sutter Creek to order but only received a message stating the voice mailbox was full. When I drove to Los Hermanos during an errand run, I found the restaurant was closed through August 10. So, my mother and I stayed home for dinner that day and thought about where to go the next day.

We decided to go to Colina de Oro, a Mexican restaurant in Plymouth that’s at the southern end of the city along Highway 49. Their Facebook profile page doesn’t include a copy of their latest menu, but I found the menu photos on the Yelp website.

After I shared the menu photos with my mother and got her order, I called Colina de Oro a little before 5:00 p.m. I ordered a vegetarian quesadilla dinner that comes with Spanish rice and beans. My mother ordered a shrimp fajita salad. The cheerful woman on the phone told me that my order would be ready in 10 to 15 minutes.

When I arrived at Colina de Oro, I was fortunate to get a parking spot near the front door because all the other spots in the small parking lot next to the building were filled. When I entered the restaurant through the double doors, I faced the bar that had several people sitting in the seats. There was a sign to my left asking me to wait to be seated.

A young hostess came up to me and I told her I was there to pick up my meal. Once I told her my name, I took a left at the bar and followed her to the cash register station. The décor of the restaurant was dark wood paneling almost everywhere including on the walls, which immediately brought memories of eating at restaurants in the 1970s and 1980s. I saw one family eating dinner in the dining room to the right of the cashier station.

The hostess told the cashier who I was, and the cashier took my money. Then the cashier took the money to a third woman in the relay team, who took the money back to be processed. As I waited, the hostess showed me my plastic bag of food that was filled with four Styrofoam boxes.

Once I received my change, I had a hard time picking up the bag because the boxes filled the bag to the very top. I managed to snag the small knot in the bag handle and was on my way. As I left, I saw more people crossing the parking lot to eat dinner at Colina de Oro.

Colina de Oro tortilla chips and salsa

After I came home, my mother unpacked the plastic bag, and we were surprised to find that one of the Styrofoam boxes contained flour tortilla chips and a medium-sized lidded cup of salsa. Two larger Styrofoam boxes had our entrées, and a small Styrofoam box contained Spanish rice and beans.

We started with the chips first and ate them right out of the box. They tasted like other flour tortilla chips we’ve eaten at other Mexican restaurants inside and outside of the county—that is, lightly salted with a good crunch. The salsa was of mild-to-medium heat and with plenty of tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.

My Meal

Every quesadilla I ate before coming to Colina de Oro included a large tortilla with the ingredients on one half of the tortilla, the other half folded over, and then the folded tortilla was toasted. The Colina de Oro vegetarian quesadilla had the ingredients in between two toasted tortillas with salsa, melted cheese, and a generous dollop of sour cream on top. I had no problem moving the quesadilla from its Styrofoam container to a dinner plate.

The quesadilla reminded me of a tortilla sandwich instead of a quesadilla, but I cared less about the presentation than about the taste. My first bite of the quesadilla brought an unexpectedly spicy taste along with avocado. As I ate through the quesadilla, I found chunks of onions and tomatoes, as well as a taste I couldn’t identify. Then I looked at my quesadilla, I identified the taste—sliced mushrooms.

Colina de Oro Spanish rice and refried beans

I found the Spanish rice and beans to be on par with the rice and beans I’ve had at many other Mexican restaurants. The beans had melted cheddar cheese on top and complemented the slightly spicy Spanish rice well.

Mom’s Meal

My mother was surprised to see her large salad nestled in a fried tortilla shell. (I checked the dinner and found the salad was indeed a taco salad.) The salad had a base of romaine lettuce, and atop the lettuce was a pile of marinated green and red bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, beans, cheese, and generous amounts of guacamole and sour cream. My mother was happy to see large pieces of marinated shrimp on top, too.

She started by taking the sour cream off her salad and lamented that her stomach can no longer handle it. Then she bit into her first piece of shrimp and declared that she liked her salad. I didn’t hear much from her until she said that she couldn’t finish it all and would eat the shrimp but save the rest for later.

Colina de Oro Shrimp Fajita Salad

The Verdict

The best thing about the quesadilla was the salsa. It provided a kick that I didn’t expect and complemented the rest of the ingredients well. If the salsa had been weaker, the quesadilla would have been a bland affair.

Once my mother put her plate on the kitchen counter to put in the refrigerator for lunch the next day, I asked her if she liked her salad. She said it was very good and singled out the shrimp as the best she’s eaten in the county so far. She had the rest of the salad for lunch the next day and told me the salad was just as delicious as it was the previous night.

In sum, we bring out our green light for Colina de Oro. The price for our meals was a little short of $34.00.

Want to Try Them?

Colina de Oro is located at 17810 State Highway 49 in Plymouth. They serve enchiladas, quesadillas, tacos, taco salads, burritos, tostadas, and even burgers for dine-in and take-out. They also offer various kinds of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. They are open every day starting at 11:00 a.m. They close at 8:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and at 9:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

You can view more information about Colina de Oro on their Facebook profile page. If you have questions and/or want to order, call them at 209-245-3278.

Amador Business Ticker food reviews are adventures in local dining with Editor Eric Butow and his mom.